Union Carpenters Create Online Safety Course for Workers

Union Carpenters Create Online Safety Course for Workers During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Carpenters International Training Fund and Robert Smith, supervisor of instruction for the Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training Fund, launched an online training course last week to meet the additional safety demands created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new course, COVID-19 Preparedness Qualifications (CITF), provides safety measures and guidance to union carpenters who continue to work on select construction projects.

“Our goal is to protect our workers with the latest safety protocols as they continue to work on projects deemed essential by their respective governing bodies,” said Smith.

“Our dedicated men and women have responded with courage to help maintain projects that are important to the community, and we want to ensure that they fulfill their mission under the safest possible conditions.”

While some construction has halted, state-by-state rules vary, allowing selected projects that are deemed essential to continue working.

CITF online course offers an educational opportunity, free to all union carpenters throughout the United States and Canada. While completion times vary, a carpenter can complete the course in approximately two hours, according to Smith. Shortly after the course was released, more than 360 members from the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council have enrolled and more than 2,855 throughout the UBC.

The Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Fund designed the course with input from various contractors, including the General Building Contractors Association of Philadelphia, then partnered with the Carpenters International Training Fund to create the platform to connect all members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to the training opportunity.

The course consists of approximately 40 slides that explain, with text and visual examples, various recommended safety practices and protocols associated with potential coronavirus contamination. Carpenter members can complete the course as it fits their personal schedule. A test requiring each member to score 75% to pass follows.

Those who pass receive a confirmation on their CITF Training Verification Card (TVC), which union carpenters use to display areas of their specialty and a list of completed course work or continuing education classes.

“Stringent safety rules have always been a part of the union carpenters training curriculum,” said Smith. “This is an added layer of protection, given the unique circumstances in which we all find ourselves.

“Our brother and sister carpenters are on the front lines, they go out every day, working to maintain the highest of trade skill sets, that they have brought to local construction projects for over 100 years. This additional training ensures that they will return home safely with the best information to protect themselves and their families, while hopefully easing the strain they face every day when they report to work.”

For more information about the Northeast Carpenters Apprentice Training Fund, visit

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